YouTube Still Isn’t a State Actor–Albertson v. Google

This year, the Supreme Court is expected to issue an opinion on jawboning and its implications for when Internet services may become state actors because of such government pressure. Until then, plaintiffs will keep losing lawsuits that claim Internet services are state actors.

Timothy-Allen Albertson allegedly self-describes as a “curmudgeon” and “counter-troll.” According to that article, “Albertson’s assets…include $100 worth of books and $700 worth of guns.” #Priorities.

Albertson had a YouTube channel. “Albertson has serious legal and political issues with the LGBTQIA+ Identity Group.” Sad. He claims he expressed these views on YouTube, and in response YouTube shadowbanned him (reminder: the term shadowbanning gets (mis)used in a variety of ways) for violating its hate speech policies. He further claimed YouTube’s shadowbanning violated his constitutional rights. But YouTube isn’t a state actor, so it’s an easy nope.

Public Function. No, per Halleck and Prager.

Joint Action/Nexus. “Albertson points to no authority to support the proposition that Congressional investigations make a private entity a state actor, and the Court declines to make such a finding.” Cite to Doe v. Google. Also, “Albertson has not alleged that Google was a ‘willful participant in joint action’ with the government.”

If the forthcoming Supreme Court opinion gives even the tiniest bit of validity to claims that Internet services are state actors, the winners will be anti-LGBTQ haters and other anti-social actors seeking to force services to carry their anti-social content. Fortunately, for now, this is just one of the ever-growing number of failed lawsuits over content removal decisions.

Case Citation: Albertson v. Google, LLC, 2024 WL 476944 (N.D. Cal. Feb. 7, 2024)

Selected Posts About State Action Claims

Another Jawboning Case Fails in the 9th Circuit (But a TAFS Judge Doesn’t Like the Biden Administration)–Rogalinksi v. Meta
Twitter Account Suspension Lawsuits Keep Failing–Hall v. Twitter
Twitter Defeats Account Suspension Case–Craft v. Musk
Government Submissions to a Trusted Flagger Program Aren’t Unconstitutional Jawboning–O’Handley v. Weber
Facebook Defeats Lawsuit Over Account Suspension for a Voting Misinformation “Joke”–Hall v. Meta
Prager’s Lawsuit Over Biased Content Moderation Decisively Fails Again (This Time, in State Court)–Prager v. YouTube
The 5th Circuit Puts the 1st Amendment in a Blender & Whips Up a Terrible #MAGA Kool-Aid–NetChoice v. Paxton
Facebook Defeats Jawboning Lawsuit Over COVID Misinformation Removal–Rogalinski v. Meta
Another Account Suspension Case Yeeted–Rangel v. Dorsey
Another Failed Lawsuit Over Trump’s Deplatforming–Rutenberg v. Twitter
COVID Skeptic Loses Lawsuit Over Account Terminations–Hart v. Facebook
Twitter Defeats Trump’s Deplatforming Lawsuit–Trump v. Twitter
Account Suspension Lawsuit Against Twitter Survives Motion to Dismiss–Berenson v. Twitter
Another Failed Lawsuit Over Facebook’s Content Removals–Brock v. Zuckerberg
Section 230 Survives Yet Another Constitutional Challenge–Huber v. Biden
Another Court Says Facebook Isn’t a State Actor–McWaters v. Houston
Another Anti-Vaxxer Jawboning Lawsuit Fails–ICAN v. YouTube
The First Amendment Protects Twitter’s Fact-Checking and Account Suspension Decisions–O’Handley v. Padilla
One More Time: Facebook Isn’t a State Actor–Atkinson v. Facebook
Two More Courts Tell Litigants That Social Media Services Aren’t State Actors
Government Jawboning Doesn’t Turn Internet Services into State Actors–Doe v. Google
Anti-Zionist Loses Lawsuit Over Social Media Account Suspensions–Martillo v. Facebook
Court Nopes Another Lawsuit Over Facebook Suspensions–Orders v. Facebook
Facebook Defeats Lawsuit By Publishers of Vaccine (Mis?)information–Children’s Health Defense v. Facebook
Court Rejects Lawsuit Alleging YouTube Engaged in Racially Biased Content Moderation–Newman v. Google
Yet Another Court Says Facebook Isn’t a State Actor–Brock v. Zuckerberg
YouTube (Again) Defeats Lawsuit Over Content Removal–Lewis v. Google
When It Came to @RealDonaldTrump, Twitter Couldn’t Please Everyone–Rutenberg v. Twitter
Another Must-Carry Lawsuit Against YouTube Fails–Daniels v Alphabet
Newspaper Isn’t State Actor–Plotkin v. Astorian
An Account Suspension Case Fails Again–Perez v. LinkedIn
Are Social Media Services “State Actors” or “Common Carriers”?
Google and Twitter Defeat Lawsuit Over Account Suspensions/Terminations–DeLima v. Google
More Plaintiffs (and Lawyers) Need To Be Reminded That YouTube Isn’t a State Actor–Divino v. Google
Facebook Isn’t a Constructive Public Trust–Cameron Atkinson v. Facebook
Google and YouTube Aren’t “Censoring” Breitbart Comments–Belknap v. Alphabet
LinkedIn Isn’t a State Actor–Perez v. LinkedIn
Section 230 Preempts Another Facebook Account Termination Case–Zimmerman v. Facebook
Section 230 Ends Demonetized YouTuber’s Lawsuit–Lewis v. Google
Court Rejects Another Lawsuit Alleging that Internet Companies Suppress Conservative Views–Freedom Watch v. Google
Another Suspended Twitter User Loses in Court–Wilson v. Twitter
First Voters Reject Tulsi Gabbard, Then a Judge Does–Gabbard v. Google
YouTube Isn’t a State Actor (DUH)–PragerU v. Google
Facebook Still Isn’t Obligated to Publish Russian Troll Content–FAN v. Facebook
Vimeo Defeats Lawsuit for Terminating Account That Posted Conversion Therapy Videos–Domen v. Vimeo
Russia Fucked With American Democracy, But It Can’t Fuck With Section 230–Federal Agency of News v. Facebook
Private Publishers Aren’t State Actors–Manhattan Community Access v. Halleck
Your Periodic Reminder That Facebook Isn’t a State Actor–Williby v. Zuckerberg
Section 230 Protects Facebook’s Account and Content Restriction Decisions–Ebeid v. Facebook
Court Tosses Antitrust Claims That Internet Giants Are Biased Against Conservatives–Freedom Watch v. Google
Twitter Isn’t a Shopping Mall for First Amendment Purposes (Duh)–Johnson v. Twitter
YouTube Isn’t a Company Town (Duh)–Prager University v. Google
Facebook Defeats Lawsuit By User Suspended Over ‘Bowling Green Massacre’–Shulman v. Facebook
Yelp, Twitter and Facebook Aren’t State Actors–Quigley v. Yelp
Facebook Not Liable for Account Termination–Young v. Facebook
Online Game Network Isn’t Company Town–Estavillo v. Sony
Third Circuit Says Google Isn’t State Actor–Jayne v. Google Founders
Ask.com Not Liable for Search Results or Indexing Decisions–Murawski v. Pataki
Search Engines Defeat “Must-Carry” Lawsuit–Langdon v. Google
KinderStart Lawsuit Dismissed (With Leave to Amend)
ICANN Not a State Actor

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